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Drinks

Good job! You just found recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home for less money than eating out. Todd's recipes are easy to follow and fun to make! See if Todd has hacked your favorite drinks here. New recipes added every week.

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    Tastes like lemonade, buzzes like booze. Use the fresh lemonade hack recipe here, or a pre-made lemonade when on time-sensitive missions.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 8

    In 1995 when I cloned Snapple iced teas in More Top Secret Recipes, I picked several varieties of the tea and used either concentrated juices or extracts for the fruity essence. Since that time, Snapple was sold to Quaker and the less popular flavors were retired to the land of the dead foods. But a clone for one of the most popular flavors of ice tea eluded me back then, since there was no common extract or juice concentrate to turn to for that flavor. Bummer too, since Snapple's raspberry iced tea is a top seller. Today, thanks to the popularity of flavored coffee drinks, flavored syrups can be found in supermarkets. The most common brand is Torani. Get some of the raspberry flavor and you can clone this secret recipe for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    This Outback margarita will quench and soothe—just what the doctor ordered. A mildly fruity on-the-rocks margarita is powerful ammunition in any home bartender's arsenal of party cocktails. I like tequila. Tequila is my friend. But watch yourself. If you get to the bottom of too many of these tasty pink drinks you might feel like a used pinata in the morning.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    It's time for shooters and you haven't a clue what to make. Don't worry, I've got your back. Pick any one of these clone recipes for shooters from Planet Hollywood and you'll be tonight's party hero. I recommend you start at the top of the list (Blue Hawaii). Told you, I've got your back.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    For five thousand years tea was served hot. But when a heat wave hit the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904, tea plantation owner Richard Blechynden couldn’t give the steamy stuff away. So he poured it over ice, creating the first iced tea, and the drink became the hit of the fair. Today Nestlé’s drink division, which markets Nestea, produces somewhere in the area of 50 percent of the world’s processed tea. That’s huge business when you consider that tea is second only to water in worldwide beverage consumption.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    The world’s most famous melon liqueur can be imitated at home by pureeing fresh honeydew melon. After the liqueur sits for a week or so, strain out the melon, put on your drinking cap, and thoroughly enjoy.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    The secret to re-creating many of Applebee’s drinks is to stay away from the bottled cocktail mixers and make your own from scratch. The recipe for the pina colada mix is a simple 2-to-1 ratio of pineapple juice to cream of coconut. You’ll be making two drinks here, so have a companion ready.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.44. Votes: 9

    Although the drink is 99 percent sugar water, that other 1 percent is the key to the drink's unique taste. The tangy citrus flavors, from lime juice, citrus oils, and citric acid (today the citric acid has been replaced with phosphoric acid), was used by pharmacist John Pemberton to overcome the inherent unpleasant bitterness of cocaine and caffeine. Even after removing the cocaine from the drink, it was still necessary to conceal the ghastly flavor of kola nut and coca leaf extract from the taste buds with the sweet, tangy syrup.

    To make an accurate clone of Coca-Cola at home, I started with the medicinal ingredient, probably just as John did. But rather than harvesting kola nuts, we have the luxury of access to caffeine pills found in any grocery store or pharmacy. One such brand is Vivarin, but it is yellow in color with a thick coating and it tastes much too bitter. NoDoz, however, is white and less bitter, with a thinner coating. Each NoDoz tablet contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, and a 12-ounce serving Coke has 46 milligrams in it. So, if we use 8 NoDoz tablets that have been crushed into powder with a mortar and pestle (or in a bowl using the back of a spoon) we get 44 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce serving, or 36 milligrams in each of the 10-ounce servings we make with this recipe. 

    Finding and adding the caffeine is the easy part. You'll probably have more trouble obtaining Coke's crucial flavoring ingredient: cassia oil. I was hoping to leave such a hard-to-get ingredient out of this recipe, but I found it impossible. The unique flavor of the Coke absolutely requires the inclusion of this Vietnamese cinnamon oil (usually sold for aromatherapy), but only a very small amount. You'll find the cassia oil in a health food store (I used the brand Oshadhi), along with the lemon oil and orange oil. The yield of this recipe had to be cranked up to 44 10-ounce servings since these oils are so strong—just one drop is all you'll need. Find them in bottles that allow you to measure exactly one drop if you can. If the oils don't come in such a bottle, buy eyedroppers at a drug store. Before you leave the health food store, don't forget the citric acid.

    This recipe, because of the old-fashioned technique of adding the syrup to soda water, creates a clone of Coke as it would taste coming out of a fountain machine. That Coke is usually not as fizzy as the bottled stuff. But if you add some ice to a glass of bottled Coke, and them some of this cloned version, the bubbles will settle down and you'll discover how close the two are. You can keep the syrup in a sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to mix each drink with soda water. 

    Because subtle differences in flavor can affect the finished product, be sure to measure your ingredients very carefully. Use the flat top edge of a butter knife to scrape away the excess sugar and citric acid from the top of the measuring cup and teaspoon, and don't estimate on any of the liquid ingredients.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    The blue curacao is drizzled over the top of the white frozen pina colada-like drink, then it sinks down the inside of the glass with groovy lava lamp flair.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Not only does the restaurant still serve some of the tastiest cocktails and mixed drinks, but T.G.I. Friday's also has one of the best selections of custom non-alcoholic drinks in the business. The smoothies and shakes at Friday's are all excellent, as are the designer sodas called "Flings." These are hand-mixed soda beverages made in a fashion reminiscent of old-time soda fountains. Juices and sweeteners are mixed with cold soda water and served over ice—you can't go wrong with one of these. The Fling cloned here uses cranberry juice, apple juice, simple syrup, and sweet-and-sour mix.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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